Benjamin Young, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Benjamin Young


Benjamin D. Young is an associate professor in Philosophy, a member of the graduate faculty in Interdisciplinary Neuroscience, and the Institute for Neuroscience at the University of Nevada, Reno. Previously he held a Kreitman Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at Ben-Gurion University, as well as a Visiting Assistant Professorship and Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the Department of Cognitive Science at Hebrew University. He conducts research at the intersection of cognitive neuroscience and philosophy with a particular emphasis on olfaction. His research on non-conceptual content, qualitative consciousness in the absence of awareness, and the perceptible objects of smell appeared in journals such as Mind & Language, Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly and Philosophical Studies. His most recent projects include the co-edited textbook Mind, Cognition, and Neuroscience (Routledge, 2022) and a co-edited collection Theoretical Perspectives on Smell (Routledge, 2023). Ben just finished a book on olfactory philosophy Stinking Philosophy! (MIT Press, 2024) and is currently working on a book about the unconscious and our sense of self tentatively titled Don’t tell anyone.

Research interests

  • Philosophy of cognitive science and neuroscience
  • Philosophy of mind
  • Philosophy of psychology

Courses taught

  • Phil 245: Contemporary Moral Issues (NeuroEthics)
  • Phil 434: Philosophy of Cognitive Science
  • Phil 435: Philosophy of Mind
  • Phil 441: Metaphysics
  • Phill 476: The Self

Recent publications

Books and edited collection

  • Young, B.D. (2024) Stinking Philosophy! smell perception, cognition, and consciousness. MIT Press.
  • Keller, A. and Young, B.D. (Eds.) (2023) Theoretical Perspectives on Smell. Routledge Press
  • Young, B.D. and Dicey-Jennings, C. (Eds.) (2022) Mind, Cognition, and Neuroscience: a philosophical introduction. Routledge Press
  • Young, B.D. and Keller, A. (Eds.) (2015) Olfactory Consciousness across Disciplines. ebook & Research Topic for Frontiers in Consciousness Research.

Articles and chapters

  • Batty, C., and. Young, B.D. (forthcoming) Olfactory Perception. Stanford Encylopedia of Philosophy.
  • Young, B.D. (2023) “Unconsciously Smelling Self vs Other.” in Conscious and Unconscious Mentality: Commonalities and Differences. (Eds.) T. Marvin, M. Polák, B. Bantegnie and J.Hvorecký. Routledge Press
  • Young, B.D. (2023) “Maybe we don’t smell molecular structure?” in Theoretical Perspective on Smell. Routledge Press
  • Keller, A., and Young, B.D. (2023) “Editorial Introduction” Theoretical Perspectives on Smell. Routledge Press
  • Young, B.D. (2022) “Smelling Odors and Tasting Flavors.” in Sensory Individuals. (Eds.) A. Mroczko-WÄ…sowicz & R. Grush. Oxford University Press.
  • Goldstein, A., and Young, B.D. (2022) “The Unconscious Mind,” in Mind, Cognition, and Neuroscience. Routledge Press.
  • Dicey Jennings, C. and Young, B.D. (2022) “Introduction to Mind, Cognition, and Neuroscience,” Mind, Cognition, and Neuroscience: a philosophical introduction. Routledge Press.
  • Young, B.D. and Nanay, B. (2021) Olfactory Amodal Completion. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly
  • Young, B.D. (2020) Perceiving Smellscapes. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 101 (2), 203-223.
  • Young, B.D., Escalon, J., and Mathew, D. (2020) Odors: from chemical structures to gaseous plumes. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 111, 19-29.
  • Young, B.D. (2019) Olfactory Imagery - is exactly what it smells like. Philosophical Studies, 177(11), 3303-3327.
  • Young, B.D. (2019) Smell’s Puzzling Discrepancy. Mind & Language, 35 (1), 90-114.
  • Young, B.D. (2019). “Smelling Molecular Structure,” in Perception, Cognition, and Aesthetics. (Eds.) D. Shottenkirk, S.Gouveia and J. Curado. Routledge Press. p.64-84.
  • Young, B.D. (2019). “The Many Problems of Distal Olfactory Perception,” in Spatial Senses: Philosophy of Perception in an Age of Science. (Eds.) T. Cheng, O. Deroy, & C. Spence. Routledge Press. p. 148-169.
  • Young, B.D. (2017). “Enactivism’s Last Breaths,” in Contemporary Perspective in the Philosophy of Mind. (Eds.) M.Curado and S. Gouveia. Cambridge Scholars Press.
  • Young, B.D. (2016). Smelling Matter, Philosophical Psychology, 29 (4), 520-534. doi: 10.1080/09515089.2015.1126814.
  • Young, B.D. (2015). Formative Non-Conceptual Content, Journal of Consciousness Studies, 22 (5-6), 201-214.
  • Young, B.D. (2014). Smelling phenomenal, Frontiers in Psychology. 5:713. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00713.
  • Young, B.D., Keller, A., & Rosenthal, D. (2014). Quality Space Theory in Olfaction, Frontiers in Psychology. 5:1. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00001.
  • Keller, A. & Young, B.D. (2014). Olfactory Consciousness across Disciplines, Frontiers in Psychology. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00931.
  • Young, B.D. (2012) Stinking Consciousness! Journal of Consciousness Studies, 19: 223-243.


  • Ph.D., City University of New York, The Graduate Center, 2011